Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Little one...

The newest member of our family joined us just before 11AM on Monday, July 19. He ended up nearly a pound smaller than his big brother at birth, but still a hefty 8 1/2 pounds. The labor and delivery could not have gone much better. The bane of my labors seems to be getting my IV; last time they tried three times before they were successful, but this time it was four times, plus I got two shots of local anesthetic for my epidural since the anesthesiologist decided to try another space on my back after trying one and not liking it.

The beauty of labor, however, is no matter what may be painful, unpleasant, or in any way negative about it, the end result is a beautiful new baby and everything else just fades away. Little boy is gorgeous, in his mother's wholly unbiased opinion. Here are some highlights:

He eats amazingly well. My older son had trouble latching on but this guy has had very few problems, and even when he seems to have a hard time finding what he's looking for he doesn't get too upset to keep trying until he gets it. At his first doctor's appointment he had already regained his birth weight!

He has tons of dark hair. His brother had dark hair but not nearly as much at birth. It also has a double cowlick in the back, making it stick out at crazy angles. I call it "monkey hair." Super cute, especially with the downy fuzz that's on his back and shoulders.

His eyes are still a mystery. I had convinced myself that this little guy would have brown eyes since his brother has blue even though his dad's are brown (my whole family has blue). When he first opened his eyes I thought he had brown eyes but they have settled into the steely dark blue that his brother's were when he was brand new. Big brother's have lightened to a bright blue now, but I know newborns can have blue eyes at birth and end up with brown within a year; we'll see if they stay blue or not.

His hands and feet seem tiny compared to his brother's, but his fingers and toes are long. He also has the most interesting oval shaped fingernails.

I think he has his Pop Pop's nose, while I think his brother's nose is more like my father's.

When he isn't all wrapped up, he likes to sleep with one hand up by his face.

I am feeling very lucky. For the most part he doesn't cry unless he is hungry or being changed, and has been sleeping pretty well for a newborn. I hope he takes after his brother and continues sleeping well. *knocks on wood*

Isn't it amazing how the older sibling suddenly looks huge in comparison to his younger sibling? I have had my big boy on my rediscovered lap a few times in the last week and he just seems enormous. I know he's still a little boy but having this tiny one around all the time really shows me how much he has grown. Big boy will be two and a half next week; it's hard to believe it's been that long.

Big brother is finally starting to acknowledge his little brother more. At first he would just ask us what he was doing, where he was, or "what's that noise?" when he was crying. Now if his brother cries, he'll say, "Baby brother crying. It's okay." Or sometimes, "Baby brother stop crying now." Awww. He will give him a kiss most of the time if we ask, very sweetly and gently. Today he actually wanted to touch him with one finger on the head and leg and was asking about the pattern on his outfit, so I think he is starting to realize he may be sticking around. I can't wait till he really is able to bond with him, although I know it may take awhile.

While I am loving bonding with the little one, I feel somewhat torn. My mom and my husband have valiantly taken over toddler duty while I can't pick him up, but I miss my big boy sometimes. I hope he doesn't think I have replaced him. At least he isn't ignoring me anymore like he did the first few days home from the hospital. Soon enough I will have to learn how to juggle caring for both of them for the bulk of the day by myself, which seems terrifying right now; I hope I am ready by the time that rolls around in another ten days or so.

Well, I'm rambling at this point; I will try to post again when there are new developments.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Flying time.

Now that I know the end date is in sight (I have an induction appointment at 3:30 AM on Monday), I am feeling like a post is in order. I have decided to document things I will and won't miss about this pregnancy.

Things I Won't Miss:
  • Avoiding caffeine, particularly lattes and frappuccinos.
  • Getting up 3-4 times a night to go to the bathroom.
  • Feeling slow and heavy.
  • The end-of-pregnancy baby movements where most stretches and rolls are just uncomfortable.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions.
  • Taking at least 3 separate movements to turn over in bed.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • My PUPPS rash, which has taken up residence in the new stretch marks on my belly.
  • Being uncomfortable in nearly any position if in that position too long.
  • Not being able to walk for very long without wanting to stop and sit or lay down.
  • That thing little guy did last night where it felt like he was drilling into my cervix. OW.

Things I Will Miss:
  • The feeling of sharing secret times with the little one, when he makes tiny movements only I know about.
  • Hiccups.
  • The gentler, Tai Chi type movements of earlier pregnancy.
  • Watching my shape change to accommodate this new life.
  • Indulging the occasional craving.
  • Daydreaming about what this little one will look and be like.
  • Having my older son come up and give my belly kisses and tell his baby brother he loves him.
Okay, so the list of what I will miss is shorter that what I won't, but that doesn't mean I don't really love being pregnant. It's just the end and it's harder to remember the sweet parts. I'm so ready to meet my little boy that I've been dreaming about for so long. Fear not, faithful readers, I will update as soon as I can after this little guy makes his grand entrance.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public ("NIP"). See the bottom of this post for more information.


I consider myself a moderate person in most senses of the word. I would not normally consider myself an activist. But when it comes to nursing, particularly in public, I have found myself with an increasingly strong desire to defend any and all mothers who choose to feed their child in a public place. Sometimes it is just necessary for an exclusively-breast fed child to eat while the child and his or her mother are out of the house. There are many reasons why this child could not be fed by a bottle: some breast fed babies reject bottles, particularly from their mothers (mine was one of them; he nearly never accepted a bottle from me and was reluctant with others). Other times, it is simply a chance outing that happened when the mother did not have time to pump a bottle before they left the house. Particularly when the mother stays at home with the baby, unless there is a special circumstance there is little reason to pump.

As for “covering up”, I believe that mothers have the right to breast feed in public however they and their children feel most comfortable, whether that means they use a cover or blanket or not. I have yet to see a mother who left an entire breast exposed the whole time she fed her child, as I have read on various articles’ comment sections. Most moms show at most a glimpse of nipple or anything else “risqué” before the baby is latched on, and then whatever part of the breast is visible is no more than many women show in everyday shirts. It is certainly less breast than I see at the beach or even on TV.

While I have been fortunate not to have been harassed at all for nursing in public, I have a personal memory that explains why covers should not be expected, but rather a personal choice. The summer after my son was born, I was enjoying an outdoor table at a restaurant with some friends of ours. My son was about six months old and I planned to nurse him at the table while we were having dinner. It was fairly hot that day (at least in the 80s), and there was full sun on our table, so my son protested when I went to cover him up with my nursing cover. It was not a blanket, but the cover I have is made of canvas, so it is not terribly breathable and he was starting to sweat. He actually started getting upset enough that he would not calm down to eat. I am sad to say that the best I could do at the time (still being shy about nursing uncovered in public) was to sit in the lounge area of the women’s restroom to try to feed him. I was crying in frustration myself by this time, wondering what I was doing wrong. Of course, it was just that he was hot and didn’t want to be covered up, but it’s hard not to take it personally when something that is usually second nature isn’t working the way it should. While no one was saying anything to me, I let what I perceived to be the prevailing public opinion sway my actions (i.e., women nursing in public must cover themselves up).

I am about to give birth to my second son, and if this same scenario were to present itself today, I would just remove the cover and continue trying to feed my son without it. I am now more experienced and more confident in my right as a nursing mother to feed my baby wherever, whenever and however I see fit. I believe every nursing mother (especially those just starting out and lacking the confidence of the veterans) has the same right. I am not going to flash anyone; I simply want my baby to be nourished the way he would be if we were at home. I do not believe that such a simple and natural desire is too much to ask.

Art by Erika Hastings at

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts - new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 - Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I will probably never stop being surprised by my child, soon to be children. The other day as I prepared his bath, my son pulled an eyelash curler out of a drawer and tucked it under his chin pointing vertically. I asked him what he was doing, and he replied, "I'm a doctor!" The only thing I can think of is that an episode of Elmo's World focused on doctors and their stethoscopes, and he thought doing that looked like he was wearing a stethoscope. I was not in a great mood that evening but I can tell you I laughed for a good while over that one. He repeated his performance this evening with his toothbrush. He also knows how to cover his eyes, count to ten and say "ready or not, here I come!" although the rest of the game of hide and seek is lost on him so far.

I only hope he treats his baby brother with the love he shows for his teddy bears. He hugs and kisses them, brushes their fur with a hairbrush, and sits them down going "There you go, buddy."

In other news, I submitted a blog post on breastfeeding for a carnival designed to support nursing in public, and was accepted. I will be posting it on Friday, so stay tuned for my very first activist (or lactivist) post!